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Collge of Education News Archive Fall 2022

COE Faculty and Student News

College of Education Teacher Preparation Program Accredited by CAEP

The University of Memphis College of Education has been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Fall 2022 review by the CAEP Accreditation Council > resulted in 55 educator preparation providers receiving accreditation, bringing the total to 507 providers approved under the CAEP Accreditation Standards > – rigorous, nationally recognized standards that were developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs.   

“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP Accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”  

CAEP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement. CAEP is a unified accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all institutions focused on educator preparation. 

Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke, Dean of the College of Education, says, "Earning national accreditation is a significant and major accomplishment. I am so proud of our faculty, staff, students and school partners. This was truly a team, collaborative effort."

CREP partners with Seeding Success and SCCSP team to evaluate community resources in local schools

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $15 million to launch and sustain the community school model, positioning neighborhood schools as a base for providing resources for students and families in the community. These funds, along with $15M in matching and in-kind dollars, were awarded to the Shelby County Community Schools Partnership (SCCSP) from the U.S. Department of Education’s Full-Service Community Schools Program (FSCS). Led by DeVonté Payton, the SCCSP is a collaboration between Seeding Success, Memphis Shelby County Schools, Communities In Schools of Memphis, Memphis Business Academy, Millington Municipal School District, Frayser Community Schools and the University of Memphis. Approximately 3,400 families and students annually will benefit from this partnership.

The UofM team working on this project as the external evaluation partner is led by Dr. Todd Zoblotsky & Dr. Carolyn Kaldon, at the Center for Research and Educational Policy (CREP). CREP’s evaluation efforts throughout the award period will determine the outcomes of this program and if it should be scaled to more schools in the future.

Learn more about this project on the Seeding Success Website.

Dr. Jacqueline Stephen, ICL alumni, named Fulbright Scholar

Congratulations to Dr. Jacqueline Stephen on receiving a Fulbright US Scholar Program award to Azerbaijan from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Dr. Stephen graduated in 2020 with her EdD in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership with a concentration in Instructional Design and Technology from the COE and currently serves as an assistant professor of instructional design and director of the Office of Distance Learning at Mercer University. She has more than 18 years of national and international experience in higher education. Her research has examined factors associated with persistence of undergraduate online students, with much of her research focusing on self-regulated learning, self-directed learning, online learning self-efficacy and high-impact practices for online teaching.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Dr. Stephen will use the award to design, develop and teach courses centered on instructional design and training and development. In addition to teaching, she will facilitate faculty and student professional development programs in the form of workshops, webinars and seminars.

Dr. Stephen says of her time in the UofM College of Education,"My coursework through the IDT doctoral program helped me to establish a research agenda that is well-aligned with my career and professional interests. The program enabled me to enhance my research skills and provided me with the foundation that I needed to engage in scholarly work. I am looking forward to utilizing the knowledge and skills I gained through the program to prepare emerging educators and researchers in Baku, Azerbaijan." Congratulations, Dr. Stephen!

Dr. Dan Collier publishes work on PSLF

Dr. Dan Collier, assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, and his co-author, Dr. Dan Fitzpatrick, University of Michigan, secured a grant from the Shared Ascent Fund through the Student Borrower Protection Center, a nonprofit organization focused on eliminating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. This grant allowed them to conduct a study and release their initial findings in a White Paper  called “Jubilee and Jubilation: An Examination of the Relationship between Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Measures of Well-Being.” This report is a groundbreaking analysis which reveals the massive personal benefits that student loan borrowers enjoy as they approach and ultimately achieve debt cancellation through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

Dr. Collier’s innovative and influential work has been cited in Forbes, Inside Higher Education, Augusta Free Press and by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. Current Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recently retweeted this piece as well. 

Dr. Collier explains the findings of his report: "Without the recent efforts to fix the PSLF program - this work would have been next to impossible to engage as so few borrowers were granted forgiveness.  While the PSLF program has a long way to go before it is working as intended, this research is among the first of its kind to show both financial and well-being aspects of achieving student loan forgiveness. Of particular value, our work shows that being on the pathway to forgiveness is not related to financial or well-being outcomes until borrowers are within 12 qualifying payments.”  

The work for Dr. Collier and Dr. Fitzpatrick is ongoing as the number of student loan borrowers who receive PSLF increases. Dr. Collier states, “We are collecting data throughout the student loan repayment pause and intend to engage additional analyses - including sub-groups tests by race and ethnicity and in late 2023 matched sample tests when the pause is lifted.  We thank our funders at the Student Borrower Protection Center for supporting this work and ongoing efforts." To learn more and read Dr. Collier’s report, visit the Student Borrower Protection Center website>.

Dr. Jennifer Renick, CEPR, Wins Dissertation Award

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Renick, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology in CEPR, winner of the 2022 Outstanding Dissertation in the Field of School Climate, from American Educational Research Association's School Community, Climate, and Culture (SC3) Special Interest Group! Dr. Renick graduated in 2022 from University of California Irvine. 

Renick's award-winning dissertation is titled "Developmentally Appropriate Educational Environments: Exploring the Impact of Student Autonomy and Interpersonal Relationships on Diverse Young Adolescents." Her dissertation sought to address gaps in school climate research by expanding understanding of the impact of autonomy and interpersonal relationships on student outcomes, focusing on students who are often underrepresented in such studies – low-income, Latine young adolescents. The three studies that were conducted utilized approaches that are well suited to school climate research, but often underutilized: youth participatory action research and social network analysis.

CEPR Graduate Student Wins Research Award at Tennessee Counseling Conference

Congratulations to Jihan Rashed, CEPR masters degree student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, who won first place in the Tennessee Counseling Association (TCA) Conference Masters student division with her poster about Predictors of Pediatric Gun Violence. She also represented the Brain Center > in a content session during the same conference, with the assistance of CEPR faculty Dr. Melanie Burgess and Dr. Eraina Schauss. Dr. Patrick Murphy, CEPR, also presented on the topic of “Grounding your Work in Trauma Sensitive Practice: Treating Race Based Trauma in a Turbulent Society” at the TCA Conference. Learn more about TCA, where all counselors in the state of Tennessee can come together to engage with one another, network and learn from some of the best in our field at TCA's website >.

Kola Brown, CEPR Doctoral Student, to Serve on Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification Standards & Exam Committee

Kola Brown, doctoral student in the department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research, has been selected to serve on the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) Standards and Exam Committee. Kola graduated from UofM in 2006 with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology. She is currently a student in the Counselor Education and Supervision Doctoral program with the aim of completion in May 2024.

CRCC is dedicated to the excellence of rehabilitation counseling and services for individuals with disabilities by setting the national standard in certification, providing leadership, education, advocacy and supporting research (CRCC website >). The certification exam allows Rehabilitation Counselors to demonstrate their professionalism, dedication to ethical practice and knowledge-base. In her three year term on the Standards and Exam Committee, Kola will be tasked with evaluating exam questions for Rehabilitation Counselor certification, reviewing testing exceptions, taking measures against fraud and safeguarding the quality of the exam. Kola says, "This role is important to me because it helps establish the foundational knowledge of the profession and works to ensure the reliability, validity, and cultural equality of the exam."

COE Faculty Will Present at ASHE Conference

The 2022 Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Conference on November 16-19 in Las Vegas, NV will provide opportunities for COE faculty to share research that aligns with the conference theme of "Humanizing Higher Education." Dr. Genia Bettencourt, Assistant Professor in LEAD, will present three papers: "An emergent model of social class strengths in higher education", "A power-conscious examination of STEM doctoral students’ meaning making of switching advisors" and "The possibilities and precautions of using the designation “at-promise” in higher education research." Dr. Dustin Hornbeck, Assistant Professor in LEAD, will present two papers: "Exploring the logics of dual credit expansion from the community college perspective" and "Racializing dual credit coursework: white faculty and color blindness at the intersection of high school and college." Dr. Gina Tillis, Assistant Professor of Teaching in ICL, will present "Hispanic serving HBCUs: Advancing Afro-Latinidades at the meso-level." 

The ASHE promotes collaboration among those engaged in the study of higher education.Dr. Bettencourt, Dr. Hornbeck and Dr. Tillis demonstrate this collaboration through their research.

Dr. Alfred Hall Selected for National Science Foundation Fellowship

Dr. Alfred Hall, assistant dean in the College of Education, has been selected for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowship. Beginning October 11, 2022, Dr. Hall will serve as a Program Director in the Division of Human Resource Development within the Directorate for Education and Human Resources. In this role, Dr. Hall will support NSF’s Division of Human Resource Development “commitment to enhancing the quality and excellence of STEM education and research through broadening participation of groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)- minorities, women and persons with disabilities.”  

Dr. Hall says of the fellowship, “I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the nation in improving STEM education pathways for underrepresented students. I have been involved in this work throughout my entire professional career, and I look forward to engaging with other colleagues at the National Science Foundation to broaden the impact of these efforts.” 

Become a Tiger, Become a Teacher Brings More than 300 Future Educators to Campus

The UofM College of Education hosted over 300 high school students at the third annual Become a Tiger, Become a Teacher Day on Friday, October 21. School groups, including Teaching as a Profession groups, from Bartlett, Covington, Desoto, Hillcrest, Melrose, Southwind and White Station high schools learned about life as a UofM tiger and the rewarding work of teachers. They attended mock College of Education classes in which faculty from the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership (ICL) taught about being an equitable teacher, connecting with students and finding your “why” for pursuing a career in education. College of Education students and faculty shared their passion for educating and their experience at the UofM.

Jennifer Bubrig, Clinical Assistant Professor in ICL, served as emcee of the event. She said, “What could be better than a room filled with more than 300 future tigers?  Future educators!  It was a great honor to be one of the ICL faculty who shared our mission to serve and impact our future educators.  The attendees heard from two current students (COE Student Ambassadors LaNerra Gray and Jenna Crist) who spoke about the transformative experience they have had being a student in our COE.  BTBT 2022 was indeed a success!  I am grateful to have been part of this momentous day for our college.  Go Tigers and go future Educators!’

Dr. Anna Falkner Leads Memphis 13 Project

Over the last year, ICL faculty member Dr. Anna Falkner (along with Dr. Gina Tillis) has been working diligently to get the story of The Memphis 13 into Memphis-Shelby County Schools social studies curriculum. Last spring, MSCS approved the development of The Memphis 13 curriculum unit for all 2nd and 5th grades. The Memphis 13 curriculum unit will be co-developed by UofM Instruction and Curriculum Leadership faculty, MSCS curriculum advisors, and MSCS elementary teachers, as well as members of The Memphis 13. UofM faculty and MSCS curriculum advisors have already identified and started working with six MSCS elementary teachers to co-develop the curriculum. They have coordinated a series of professional development workshops for all MSCS teachers during the 2022/2023 school year. 

Dr. Falkner says of the project, "Studying The Memphis 13 and elementary school desegregation offers a powerful way for young children to see themselves represented in history as agents of social change, equity and inclusion. The curriculum will allow teachers to discuss The Civil Rights Movement through a local lens, using contextualized experiences to help students better understand their schools as historically experienced by members of their community. The community-based approach draws from local funds of knowledge and fosters a deeper connection with history, humanities and social studies. Furthermore, it supports our students’ critical thinking in ways that challenge them to identify inconsistencies between their lived and learned experiences so they can make informed decisions regarding issues of social justice."

Dr. Patrick Murphy and CEPR Doctoral Students Present at SACES Conference

CEPR doctoral students at conferenceIn November, Dr. Patrick Murphy and CEPR doctoral students Joy Hutchinson, Tristan Mckenzie, Zakeya Good, Keith Hembree, Courtney Loveless and Mary Neal traveled to Maryland to present at the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) 2022 Conference. Their presentations focused on creating safe spaces for African American male students (Hembree and Good), professional identity (Mckenzie), lived experiences of EMTs in counseling (Hutchison), burnout among trauma counselors (Loveless and Neal) and teaching multicultural counseling (Murphy). Dr. Murphy says of the conference, "It was great to have so many doctoral students represent the University of Memphis at this conference, share their current research and discuss current trends in counselor education."

SACES cultivates an inclusive community of counselor educators and supervisors who develop leaders and counselors committed to professional advocacy and dedicated to client equity and well-being. Learn more at saces.org >.


Dr. Rockinson-Szapkiw receives Fulbright Specialist award

Congratulations to Dr. Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw, professor in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, on receiving the Fulbright Specialist Award. She is finalizing a project at Timor-Leste National Commission for UNESCO that aims to exchange knowledge and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities both in the U.S. and overseas through a variety of educational and training activities. Rockinson-Szapkiw worked in Timor Leste, partnering with the U.S. embassy and the National Commission for UNESCO, a semi-government institution under the Ministry of Higher Education Science and Culture (MHESC), to carry out a needs assessment and training initiative at the TL Universities. These are inclusive of five Timorese higher education institutions (National University of Timor Lorosa'e (UNTL); Oriental University (UNITAL); Universidade da Paz (UNPAZ); Superior Institute of Kristal (ISC): and Dili Institute of Technology (DIT), Public Senior High School (ESGP. 4 de Setembro Dili); Catholic High School (ESC. São Pedro); and vocational school Becora). In addition, she did a two-day training for all lecturers who were part of this system on the systematic design of STEM Learning.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Read the full Fulbright press release here >.

Dr. Schiro-Geist Honored by Arc Mid-South

Congratulations to Dr. Chrisann Schiro-Geist, professor in CEPR, on receiving a Community Engagement award from Arc Mid-South! Dr. Schiro-Geist was honored for her work with TigerLIFE > and the UofM Institute on Disability > at Arc Mid-South's Annual Awards and Benefit Gala in October. This year's gala focused on "Celebrating Achievements . . . . Changing Lives" and honored individuals and organizations that help impact the lives of Memphians with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc Mid-South provides supports and services to nearly 3,000 people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities through our Family Support, Employment, Job Readiness, Basic Life Skills, Respite Services, Child Care Aware of America in partnership with the US Navy, Literacy and Education and Advocacy Programs. Learn more at the Arc's website >.

CREP partners with UTHSC team on "High School 2 Health Care" to encourage rural TN high school students to explore laboratory science careers

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has awarded $1.3 million to a new initiative to educate rural Tennessee high school students about careers in medical laboratory sciences and public health information technology.

The UofM team working on this project is led by Dr. Carolyn Kaldon, at the Center for Research and Educational Policy (CREP). Dr. Jacen Moore, assistant professor in the department of Diagnostic and Health Sciences at University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), is the principal investigator and program director.  The CREP and UTHSC teams are joined by a team led by Dr. Simpfronia Taylor, director of the Ripley extension center at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The project is funded by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) grant.

The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the stress of existing critical shortages of trained, qualified, allied health professionals, especially in rural communities and underserved populations. Careers in fields, such as medical laboratory sciences and public health information technology, are in very high demand, yet professional programs struggle to recruit students. This project aims to ease this recruitment challenge by familiarizing and engaging student interest early in high school, where these fields aren’t as popular or well-promoted as other health professions.

Called “High School 2 Health Care” (HS2HC), the project seeks to enhance opportunities in these fields for underserved student populations. It is comprised of a summer program and dual enrollment course that will educate high school students and their teachers about careers in medical laboratory sciences and public health information technology. Integrating Next Generation Science Standards, the classes will give students and teachers the opportunity to develop hands-on skills and experience what a career in these fields would involve.

Learn more about this project on UTHSC’s website >.

Dr. Eraina Schauss receives 2022 First Horizon Foundation Distinguished Professorship

Dr. Eraina Schauss, associate professor in CEPR, has been awarded the UofM's 2022 First Horizon Foundation Distinguished Professorship. This three-year appointment reflects Dr. Schauss's outstanding contributions to the University's educational, research, outreach and service missions. Dr. Schauss says, "I am delighted to have received the prestigious First Horizon Foundation Distinguished Professorship! It is the greatest honor of my tenure at the University of Memphis."

Learn more about the First Horizon Foundation Distinguished Professorship >. Learn more about Dr. Schauss and her impactful research in treating young people with trauma through the BRAIN Center >. Dr. Schauss and the BRAIN Center were recently featured on ABC 24 News, see that feature here >.

Dr. Rosie Phillips Davis Receives APA Award

Dr. Rosie Phillips Davis, professor of Counseling Psychology in CEPR, is an inspiring leader in education and the field of counseling psychology. She served as President of the American Psychological Association in 2019 where she focused on addressing the psychological needs of those in deep poverty. She also served for many years as the Vice President for Student Affairs at the UofM. Her commitment to social justice and equity, her kind and humble demeanor and her impactful leadership is praised by her peers and colleagues.

Dr. Davis has received the Raymond D. Fowler Award for Outstanding Contributions to the American Psychological Association (APA). This award shows that Dr. Davis demonstrates a clear dedication to APA's mission and honors her significant and enduring impact on the APA and the field of Counseling Psychology. The award will be presented on August 3rd during the meeting of the APA Council of Representatives at the 2022 APA Convention in Minneapolis. Read a spotlight on Dr. Davis, and the three Lifetime Achievement Awards she has recently been honored with, here >